How Asana keeps pace in a quickly changing market, with Brand Experience Management
Asana’s market position in a newly created category requires a greater focus on brand experience. As Market Research Program Lead, Debra Bunyan has spearheaded efforts to gain insights from external and customer audiences to drive action and better business outcomes.
With consumers’ buying choices more diverse than ever, brands need to evolve past traditional marketing tactics to create an effective brand experience (BX) management strategy.
As part of Qualtrics’ State of Brand Experience Management discussion, we spoke with Debra Bunyan, the Market Research Program Lead at Asana. A leading work management platform, Asana adds structure to unstructured work, empowering teams to create accountability and transparency across the organization.
Asana: forging the path ahead for work management – and brand experience management
Asana’s boundary-pushing position in the new work management market has required a revised approach to brand experience to help develop awareness and link customer experience to the external perception of the company.
Evolving with BX management
According to Debra, the culture at Asana prior to her arrival two years ago was more focused on customer experience. “At the time, there was an established user experience (UX) team, and Asana expanded their research capabilities by adding a Quantitative Market Research team that would be able to focus on areas like brand experience management,” explains Debra.
The team’s role is to create a survey program that covers both CX and BX, to bring both disciplines together and provide market insights that benefit both aspects of the business. After some initial research into brand awareness and competitive intelligence, Asana was excited to invest in brand experience insights on a continuous basis.
By consistently receiving data, Asana can establish where they sit within the relatively new business category of work management software and understand new competitors in the market. Given the sector’s relatively recent creation, business rivals frequently appear, making market intelligence particularly important.
Using a BX management platform to fuel growth
Asana’s survey program – enabled through Qualtrics’ technology – helps Asana to keep a finger on the pulse of what was going on in the market and how the brand is perceived.
“Not only that, but the data we gather helps to inform Asana on how consumers can be better educated about work management platforms, and how they could benefit from adopting Asana."
To create this program, the team needed a tool that was scalable, would fit into existing infrastructure, and support various teams with multiple integration options. Qualtrics' variety of modules provided a unified solution for Asana's survey research needs.
Making marketing more effective with BX management
Asana’s key goals were to source research that would be easy to understand by all teams, and that could be actionable. “Using metrics alone isn’t enough,” says Debra. “Teams need to understand why the company is scoring in a certain way to help to modify behavior and develop Asana’s marketing to be more effective."
Debra also hoped to expand the business’ current understanding of its own position in the market. “CX alone doesn’t give you enough data points to understand what’s going on in the market and in our category,” Debra explained. “BX allows us to understand Asana within the context of work management platforms, with metrics understood in terms of market share and awareness that drives revenue."
Taking continual actions with real-time insights
Doing an initial two-part study on brand awareness and competitive intelligence really drove home the need for having a solid – and rapid - understanding of brand experience for Asana. “The landscape was changing quickly, and we didn’t have a reason why – or an understanding of what was driving it,” said Debra. Part of her work is to empower the organization broadly with insights so it was critical that data not live in a static report but to have it available on a dashboard for teams to create continual actions against it.
“We work on developing constant awareness not only of our category but of our brand. Being able to see how that’s changing in real-time is essential.”
Next up for Asana
"Though we’ve grown our brand experience research, we’re just getting started,” said Debra. “Our goal is to create an executive scorecard to see how the business is performing across all areas: CX, BX, and support.”
This, she believes, will benefit the whole business. The team currently serves both the product and wider aspects of the business, and collaborating on all elements of CX and BX research helps all sides to flourish.
Advice for others starting out on their BX journey
For Debra, laying a good foundation for the Asana insights team is critical for producing the right results. “You need a really great team, with adequate tools and an engaged set of stakeholders who really want to use the data in an actionable way,” she says.
Why Asana’s brand leaders say you need to be prepared to hear hard truths
There’s also a strong need for businesses to be able to hear the hard truths. “You don’t want to just do research that validates what you’re thinking,” Debra comments. “You need to have research that reflects what’s actually happening."
As a result, stakeholders need to be open and responsive to data that’s presented to them. “You need to challenge all the preconceptions you might have,” Debra said.
Why BX Management?
More than 70% of surveyed leaders believe that BX can help to improve brand differentiation and awareness, according to Qualtrics-commissioned research by Forrester Consulting that inspired our discussion with Asana. Leaders also see an average of $180M in additional revenue as a result of BX leadership, making it a worthwhile venture for business development.
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